Do You Really Need to Take Painkillers Only After Food?

Medical media recently reported that a clinicians’ reference handbook had changed advice on how to take the painkiller ibuprofen – commonly sold under the brand names Nurofen and Advil.

Source: Do You Really Need to Take Painkillers Only After Food?

I highly recommend reading this post about ibuprofen – it’s a serious risk for those of us on blood thinners.  More importantly than ulcers, overuse of NSAIDs is one of the leading causes of kidney failure.

Timing Your Blood Pressure Meds Right Might Prevent Diabetes

In surprising new research, experts report that the timing of taking your blood pressure medicine could have a big impact on whether or not you develop type 2 diabetes.

Specifically, the Spanish researchers found that taking blood pressure medications at bedtime rather than waiting until morning may cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than half.

Source: Timing Your Blood Pressure Meds Right Might Prevent Diabetes

Controlling blood pressure is one of the main goals in the care of diabetics. The ultimate disease processes that kills people in diabetes is atherosclerosis which then leads to coronary artery and peripheral arterial disease. It also leads to chronic renal insufficiency (bad kidneys, basically – that’s why diabetics tend to end up on dialysis), retinopathy, and arguably contributes significantly to vascular dementia and stroke. Any number of those consequences of diabetes can be fatal.

So, then, if we can prevent atherosclerosis in the first place, we can prevent many of those downstream consequences. That’s why it’s important to control things like blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and activity level in patients with diabetes. Using that logic, it makes sense that this would be helpful to someone who already has diabetes as well (and for similar reasons).

That said, there is a link between nocturnal hypotension and ischemic optic neuropathy. So you may reduce your diabetes risk, but you may increase your risk of vision loss. The theory is the low blood pressure at night time leads to such low perfusion of the optic nerve that it is irreparably damaged. As a result, physicians may recommend the opposite of this study. I should point out this is anecdotal evidence from other doctors. Large scale studies proving this link have not been performed.  See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3721361/

It’s also been found that taking your aspirin at bedtime is more effective.

Why You Should Add Electrolyte Packets to Your Outdoor Survival Kit

Recently I was packing for a hiking trip that would take me through Colorado’s Weminuche and Rio Grande Wildernesses. When I reached for my small first aid kit – something I bought in an outdoor store years ago – I was reminded of its overall inadequacy.

Source: Recipe: Wilderness First Aid Kit

Some things I pack: Nuun tablets, instant soup/salt, credit card for the BnB I realistically will end up at.

Fish Oil Not So Perfect After All

Fish oil is now the third most widely used dietary supplement in the United States, after vitamins and minerals, according to a recent report from the National Institutes of Health. At least 10 percent of Americans take fish oil regularly, most believing that the omega-3 fatty acids in the supplements will protect their cardiovascular health.

But there is one big problem: The vast majority of clinical trials involving fish oil have found no evidence that it lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.

…Dr. Stein also cautions that fish oil can be hazardous when combined with aspirin or other blood thinners. “Very frequently we find people taking aspirin or a ‘super aspirin’ and they’re taking fish oil, too, and they’re bruising very easily and having nosebleeds,” he said. “And then when we stop the fish oil, it gets better.”

Source: Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research

While it’s interesting that so many studies support that there’s no link between the health claims and fish oil extract, there’s only a passing mention of FDA review and support.  Nothing about if the supplement actually contains fish oil.  If other supplements are full of asparagus and lies

My stance remains firmly no-supplement.  Nothing is 100% safe, with farmed salmon getting dyed to resemble wild, or the known fraud in olive oil…  Doing the best you can is all you can hope for, and the field changes without your knowledge.